NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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December 13, 2012

Lubchenco departure fuels hope for change in fishing rules

Departure fuels hope for change in fishing rules

(Continued)

“Our fishing community has suffered under Jane Lubchenco’s leadership at NOAA,” said Tierney. “Reports that she will resign in the coming months are certainly welcomed and provide the administration with an opportunity to set NOAA on a different course.”

Lubchenco’s to ascent to power over oceans and atmosphere for President Obama grew from plans hatched in 1991 to tap the billions in new industrial foundations — Intel, Hewlett Packard, Wal-Mart — for peer-reviewed science alleging an emptying of the oceans by avaricious fishermen, and money for hands-on member-seeking green groups. These studies and reports, disputed by many independent scientists and defined as reflecting an ends-driven “faith-based fisheries” in one critique by a highly regarded scientist-writer, were meant to underpin radical controls on wild harvesting via marine protected areas and other constricting statutory concepts — 10-year rebuilding timetables, hard catch limits and increased hedging against scientific uncertainty.

As an organizer of the Pew Oceans Commission in 2003, Lubchenco forged new alliances with the likes of Leon Panetta, now U.S. defense secretary, and afterward became vice chairwoman of Environmental Defense Fund, which, with its corporate partner Wal-Mart, campaigned for President Obama to fix the fisheries by reconfiguring them to fit into the globalized investment world — ignoring that the United States had become a global leader in fisheries conservation and was importing more than 80 percent of its seafood.

“Dr. Lubchenco has dedicated her career to science and the environment, and with the appointment of John Bullard as NOAA’s regional administrator she has done a huge service to fishing families and communities during a crucial period for the industry,” EDF’s senior fisheries adviser Johanna Thomas said in an email.

A member of the faculty at Oregon State University, Lubchenco was introduced at her Senate confirmation hearing by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon as “the bionic woman of good science.”

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